In Getz, the plaintiff contended that he was shopping in a Pennsylvania Walmart store when a box containing a 25" television set fell and struck him in the head. Wal-mart argued that the box fell in the absence of any negligence on the part of the defendant or its employees.
The plaintiff testified that he asked a Walmart employee to obtain a 25" television set from a top shelf. The employee attempted to retrieve the television using a step ladder, when the handle of the box containing the television ripped causing the television to fall and strike the plaintiff in the head. The plaintiff contended that two people were required to handle the television which weighed approximately 60 pounds.
The plaintiff's osteopath testified that the plaintiff, a male approximately age 55 at the time of the accident, sustained a cervical disc herniation as a result of being struck in the head with the heavy box.
The defendant argued that the box was properly handled by the defendant and that the handles of the box containing the television ripped in the absence of any negligence on the part of the defendant. The defense argued that the plaintiff was comparatively negligent for standing under the step ladder while its employee was retrieving the television set.
The defendant's orthopedic surgeon opined that the plaintiff did not sustain a cervical disc herniation as a result of the accident and suffered from a pre-existing degenerative condition of the cervical spine. The defense argued that the plaintiff had voiced prior similar cervical complaints indicating that his symptoms were not causally related to the subject accident.
The jury was hung. Seven of the eight jurors found that the defendant was not negligent. The case settled subsequent to the hung jury for the defendant's undisclosed pre-trial settlement offer.
I am a little surprised there was not a products liability lawsuit filed against the TV manufacturer or TV box maker in light of the handle to the TV box apparently snapping.
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